Which city is cheaper, Denver or Chicago?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Chicago and Denver can help you decide which place is right for you.
Chicago is a vibrant, multicultural, and edgey city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the museums, theater, and nightlife.
Denver is a sprawling and park-filled city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include hiking, skiing, and nightlife.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Denver and Chicago. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
People who enjoy wandering through museums and other attractions will appreciate a visit to Chicago a bit more than Denver.
You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Chicago on the map. Some of the most famous are the Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Notable landmarks include the famous Willis Tower - formerly the Sears Tower, Buckingham Fountain, and the iconic Cloud Gate (the bean).
While most people don't head to Denver specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Popular museums include the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the History Colorado Center, and the Forney Museum of Transportation.
Chicago has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Denver.
Chicago has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.
Denver offers some easy restaurants to choose from. While you're in town you should try the Bison steak and fried pickles.
Chicago has the better options when it comes to nightlife.
Chicago is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.
If you're looking for night time activities Denver has a few options to choose from. The city has come a long way with its nightlife. Popular bars and clubs in town include the Grizzly Rose and 54Thirty Rooftop. Many places are concentrated in the Soco Nightlife District.
You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Chicago or Denver.
Chicago is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a large number of activities for kids, including zoos, Shedd Aquarium, impressive children's museums, and large and elaborate playgrounds in Millennium Park.
Denver offers lots of family activities. It is a family-friendly city with museums, playgrounds, and plenty of outdoor activities. There are also a few ropes courses near town that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
Chicago provides more public transit options than Denver.
Chicago has a great public transit system. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.
While Denver offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. If you're not planning to leave town, the light rail and bus systems offers good access to much of Denver.
Chicago is more walkable than Denver.
Chicago is a very walkable destination. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.
Denver is not a very walkable city. While the downtown area is generally walkable, this is still a sprawling city where you'll really want to have a car to access areas outside of town.
Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Chicago and Denver. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Chicago than Denver.
The ideal length of time for a trip to Chicago is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Denver is 2-3 days.
Chicago is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.
In Denver, you'll find skiing and nightlife. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Chicago is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
In Denver, you'll find nightlife and skiing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Denver has to offer.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chicago. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
Denver is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the edgey big city of Chicago. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Chicago is $221, while the average daily cost in Denver is $174. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chicago and Denver in more detail.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:
Prices for flights to both Denver and Chicago change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chicago.
Some typical examples of dining costs in Denver are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Denver.
Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Chicago for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Denver are as follows:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:
Also in Denver, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chicago and Denver, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Denver much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Denver would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Denver and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Chicago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chicago than you might in Denver.
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